Synonyms: Heros managuense
Physical description: An elongated cichlid with an up-turned mouth. The most common color type has a pinkish-gray to beige background, base coloration. The body is covered with black spots and splotches. These are very irregular and no two fish have the same pattern. On the fins, this pattern continues. The iris of the eye is bright red.
Size/Length: Males to 20" (50 cm), females to 16" (40 cm); not usually larger than 14" (35 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: C. mortaguense
Habitat: Found in still to slow-moving water. Central America: Lake Managua, Lake Nicaragua in Nicaragua; to Southern Costa Rica and Southern Honduras.
Aquarium: 36" (91 cm) or 45 gallons (170 L) is sufficient for young individuals up to 8" (20 cm). However, this fish can grow up to 12" (30 cm) its first year, and should be moved to a 72" (183 cm) or 100 gallon (378 L) tank. The tank should have open swimming areas, and be supplied with hiding places of rocks, roots, and wood. These fish burrow and uproot plants. Use potted or plastic plants.
Water chemistry: pH 7-8.5 (7.2), dH 5-18 (8), 73-79°F (23-26°C)
Social behavior: A territorial fish that is an active predator. The Managuense is intolerant of its own species. Combine with other large, robust fish, especially cichlids. Pairs form nuclear families and are fine parents.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, other South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins, Hemichromis, Tilapia.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms; raw meat; pellets; large flakes; tablets
Sexual differences: The larger and more colorful males have pointed anal and dorsal fins. Males have a pointed genital papilla.
Breeding techniques: Some report breeding as difficult while others consider it fairly easy. In any case, up to 5000 yellow eggs are laid on a surface. The male guards the eggs and the fry very aggressively. The young grow quickly if fed live foods (Daphnia, Artemia). The pair often will break up after spawning and look for another mate.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding the Managuense is fairly difficult because of the size the fish reach.
Remarks: The Managuense is a major food fish and can often be found in local fish markets in its native lands. Different color populations based on geographical location exist.
Difficulty of care: 6. The Managuense grows to a very large size. It must be regularly fed live foods to keep it from picking on smaller tank mates.